Tuesday, August 18, 2009

500 Days of Summer - and I had my last this weekend.

I spent a rousing weekend in Moab with my Ward. What what! It was a river rafting trip down the Colorado and boy was it good times. I had some times in the “big raft” and some times in the “rubber kayak”. I brought my camera but not on the river. I’m hoping for some “facebook tags” from others who took pics and then I can post them for your enjoyment. I know how you like to look at pics of a bunch of people you don’t know having a Ward activity. At any rate - all in all – I vote it a great final summer trip. Why final summer? WELL!

I am starting school in a week and a half. I’m starting school AGAIN. I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it yet – though I have bought some textbooks here and there and am starting to adjust my schedule accordingly (aka making Frisbee really count this Wednesday and finishing up me “leisure reading” for the next 6 semesters… sniff sniff). Soon, my free evenings will be inundated with reading texts and writing papers and studying for tests. Honestly, I’m looking forward to being in a classroom again and have hefty goals to really fly through my MPA program as fast, but as effectively, as possible. Fall 2011. That’s my graduation goal. We shall SEE!

I also saw a movie last week I think deserves more than a “sidebar” mention; “500 Days of Summer.” Excellent film! Excellent soundtrack (already downloaded and being enjoyed thank you). This is one I highly recommend if you are tired of gimmicky blockbuster smash-em-ups and cliché romantic hoo-haw. Yes, hoo-haw. There are many things I liked about this film, and only one thing I didn’t.

First, what I liked: the girl and the boy. Both quirky and flawed in their own human ways. Both aren’t your drop dead gorgeous untouchables – but humanistic – realistic – you can put yourself in their shoes or at least – it’s plausible that you could date one of them given whatever sex you happen to be. There’s a chance! It’s funny and tragic. It’s unexpected but not ridiculously so. What do I mean by that? Well, you know how movies try to play the “unexpected” by killing the hero or making the quirky best friend the blood thirsty murderer? Ya know, the ones that just come off stupid and ridiculous rather than genius and was clearly intended for “shock value?” I personally think it’s VERY hard to “kill a hero” and do it well. You’ve got to have purpose in the death of the hero, or the boy and girl not ending up together, or the quirky best friend ripping everyone’s heart out (literally) or it just plain doesn’t work. I can’t say I’ve seen it done well very often. It’s a delicate procedure – a risk in movie-making – but this movie does it and does it realistically. Bravo!
I must also add – this movie hit very very close. Brilliantly and heart-wrenchingly close. Not only do you feel you could interact with either of these characters in a real world scenario – but there story is one of real-world proportions [warning: spoilers to follow…]. Example: one of my favorite moments in the movie is when they create a split screen of Tom (the boy) going to a party Summer (the girl) has invited him to; one side entitled “Reality” and one entitled “Expectation.” At this point in the movie they have loved, broken up, Tom has wasted away in heart-wrenching depression and bitterness, and then they reconnect several months later at a mutual friends wedding. They have a great time – and she invites him to come to this party. So Tom has expectations of how it will go – and in the split screen scenario his expectations are viewed slightly ahead of what reality gives him. And reality is always harsher. It all starts out close to his expectations… and then falters… and fails… and eventually he’s crushed into disappointment and despair again. Reality has killed expectation… again. The reality of the situation is thus: first, we all have had expectations that reality has brutally shattered. We’ve all had that hope that something will follow the plan we want it so badly to follow… and then doesn’t. But even more so, Tom wasn’t unfounded in his expectations. Tom wasn’t being overly zealous or ambitious or “reading into” anything. Tom’s expectations were plausible – like many of our expectations are – but the lesson is – it doesn’t keep them from still being crushed by reality.

Hits so very close…

Many girls I’ve talked to actually identified with Summer – not believing in love and maybe even bringing a few poor wretched souls along with them for the ride until they finally decide to cut them loose. Heart-breakers. Indecision. Immaturity. I, on the other hand, identified with Tom. And I think we could all place ourselves in either of their shoes – neither being the bad guy and neither being the hero – but it all happening just the same. You should go see this movie. Move it up to the top of the list, you know, ahead of GI Joe and The Time Traveler’s Wife. It will be a worthy switch I promise you! I’ve dedicated a POST to it haven’t I? Sheesh! It’s not like these posts are free! Except that they are… cough.

Oh, and what I didn’t like? That the chick at the end Tom asks out when he has finally healed and decides to believe in love again is supermodel gorgeous. Seriously! It didn’t fit with the movie at all. Summer was pretty – but in a quirky real kind of way. This girl snapped me back into “oh yeah this is still a movie” mode and lead me to believe that the casting director had to find a spot for the uppity producers brain dead hot niece who moved to Hollywood to be an aspiring act-ress. Eye roll. Or it was just poorly casted – but at least it was only the last 7 minuets of the movie. It’s good enough to let that one moment of complete Hollywood cliché slide… I suppose…

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